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Some advanced driver assistance systems require on-the-lane vehicle positioning on accurate digital maps. The combination of high precision global navigation satellite systems and inertial measurement is the most common technique to carry out this precise positioning since in some areas global positioning systems (GPS) signals are lost or degraded. However, real experimental validation of the navigation algorithms (beyond simulation) is one of the most important shortcomings in the state-of-the-art. In this study, a wide set of real experiments have been carried out on real roads, in urban and rural environments, using an instrumented car. A theoretical approach based on the uncertainty propagation law has been set out to evaluate the errors when using only inertial measurement systems and the maximum distance that can be travelled before exceeding the admissible error limits. Results show that it is better to correct GPS positioning when its signal is degraded than to wait until the signal is definitively lost. Furthermore, inertial measurement systems and GPS receivers of different levels of accuracy have been compared in order to determine whether they are suitable for new assistance applications. Experimental data are consistent with the theoretical approach.